Education and Literacy
Beginning in 2014, The Yomiuri Shimbun approached Japanese corporations, universities, municipal governments and elementary, middle and high schools to create the Yomiuri Kyoiku (Education) Network, a nonprofit educational support organization. One of the pillars of its activities is a series of courses with Yomiuri Shimbun staff writers and personnel from participating firms going to academic institutions to give lessons. Yomiuri writers teach how to write an article and take photos for print, for example.
Participating schools have praised the program, saying it teaches things that are not found in a typical curriculum. We conduct a range of other activities as well, including producing educational materials using articles and columns from The Yomiuri Shimbun itself and distributing them free of charge to school teachers, and hosting lectures to assist university students in their job hunting activities.
We have also made strides in our Newspaper in Education (NIE) activities, which utilize newspapers for learning. Our NIE Seminars offer lectures for educators on concrete ways to take advantage of newspapers in the classroom.
Promoting literacy and the printed word
We are also engaged in safeguarding and promoting the culture of the printed word. Young people today are increasingly estranged from the printed word, so in 2002, we partnered with the Japanese publishing industry to create the council on the promotion of the written word and create opportunities for young people to experience the joy of reading. Public lectures on literature in a university context, public readings of books to children and the "Biblio Battle," a book review competition where high school and university students share their favorite books, are among the activities we have launched.
Promoting higher learning
We offer a scholarship for economically disadvantaged students to attend university or vocational school while working to deliver Yomiuri Shimbun newspapers. The Yomiuri Ikuei Shougakukai (education scholarship society) was founded in 1964 and is Japan's oldest scholarship in the newspaper sector. Through this system, employees at local Yomiuri Shimbun vendors have a portion of their student loans defrayed based on their number of years of work. Living stipends are also provided.
Aiming to improve the standards of Japanese education, we founded the Yomiuri Kyoiku Sho (education prize) in 1952. This award is conferred on educators and organizations that actively engage in research or teaching in primary and secondary schools and kindergarten and nursery environments. We also host nationwide contests in essay composition, English-language debate, and scientific research for children and students. Of these, our English debate competition for middle schoolers has continued since 1949 as an effort to improve students' English speaking abilities and foster in them an awareness of international friendship. Princess Hisako of Takamado is president emeritus of the competition.